Friday, 17 July 2009

eco design - all hair shirts and sandals...?

we live in a world of labels, perceptions and stereotypes. comedy sketches are written on them, arguments are fought on them and we are all subject to them in one way or another, in some point in our lives. some you can let wash over your heads whilst others strike a nerve.

one label that follows me around is 'eco designer', and please do not get me wrong - this is a label I happily apply to myself in part of the reply to the eternal question 'so, what do you do?'

what winds me up slightly are the preconceptions of some people to the phrase 'eco design'.

'oh - hippy stuff - all hair shirts, sandals and dirt eh?'
well quite frankly, no.
therefore it is nice when something pops along to reinforce the real meaning of a phrase and I was over the moon when I was given the new book 'Experimental Eco Design' (architecture / fashion / product) by Brower, Mallory and Ohiman.
for someone unsure as to what eco design is all about, this book is a revelation as it shows a section of the true scope of the subject.

so, what is eco design? well, from prefabricated, easily transported emergency housing to backpacks made from flour bags, stools made from cardboard pulp and bioluminescent lighting processes, the book is full of the wonderful ideas that designers have created to tackle one of the myriad of problems that eco design seeks to ease.

fantastic case studies are split with short essays, making the title both educational and inspirational. for any budding eco design student (and lets face it, all our design students should be concerned in their own ways) the book is essential reading, but this does not exclude it from the office shelf of a seasoned professional.

great for a flick through or a proper sit down and study, and at only £15, a bargain.

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